Research suggests that increased voting among adults is associated with improved child health. Despite the benefits of voting, the United States has low voter turnout compared with peer nations. Turnout is especially low among marginalized people in the United States. Voter registration is essential for increasing voter turnout, and registration efforts have been successfully carried out in clinical settings. Working with a nonprofit called Vot-ER, we advocated for nonpartisan voter registration efforts in pediatric settings nationwide preceding the November 2020 US elections. We describe lessons learned from these efforts. Using data obtained from Vot-ER, we also provide the first estimates of participation in a national voter registration campaign in pediatric settings. There was widespread engagement in voter registration efforts among pediatricians in 2020. Many lessons were learned from these efforts, including the benefits of advanced planning because registration deadlines can be up to 1 month in advance of Election Day. Obtaining buy-in from numerous stakeholders (e.g., health center leadership, public relations teams) supports widespread staff participation. Also important is to consider the tradeoffs between active voter registration (in which staff can broach the topic of voting with patients and families) and passive efforts (in which voting is discussed only if patients or families inquire about it). These and other lessons can inform future voter registration efforts in diverse pediatric settings across the country.
A National Voter Registration Campaign
Jean A. Junior, Yoonhee P. Ha, Talia R. Ruxin, Zonía Moore, Madeline M. Grade, Amanda M. Stewart, Ashlee Murray, Alister Martin; A National Voter Registration Campaign. Pediatrics August 2023; 152 (2): e2022059501. 10.1542/peds.2022-059501
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